Home­grown Hand­made

If you’re a gar­dener, you’ll al­ways grow more than you can eat. Here are seven de­li­cious ways to use up a sur­plus.

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Contents - Words Jane Wrig­glesworth

7 ways to use up the sum­mer fruit sur­plus

Mini straw­berry cheese­cakes

MAKES: 12 TIME: 5 hours-overnight (in­cludes chill­ing time) For this recipe you need 12 x 10cm spring­form tins and 12 x rose-shaped sil­i­cone cup­cake moulds.


Base 2 cups bis­cuit crumbs (plain, malt,

or di­ges­tive bis­cuits) ½ cup but­ter, melted Fill­ing 250g cream cheese ¾ cup sugar 2-3 tbsp lemon juice ⅔ cup milk 2½ cups cold cream 2 tbsp gela­tine ⅓ cup hot wa­ter 1 cup puréed straw­ber­ries, or other berries red food colour­ing, op­tional straw­berry jam


To make the base Mix to­gether the bis­cuit crumbs and melted but­ter. Tip into greased mini spring­form tins and press down firmly. Chill in fridge. To make the fill­ing Mix the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and milk to­gether to form a cream-like con­sis­tency. Set aside. Whip the cream in a chilled metal bowl un­til it forms soft, smooth peaks that flop over (it should not be thick and grainy, or runny). Set aside. Mix the gela­tine and hot wa­ter to­gether to a smooth con­sis­tency. Fold into the cream (not the cream cheese) mix­ture. Then add the cream cheese mix­ture, puréed straw­ber­ries and a cou­ple of drops of red food colour­ing if de­sired. Pour fill­ing into rose-shaped sil­i­cone cup­cake moulds. Place moulds in the freezer for a few hours or overnight. When frozen, the fill­ing can be re­moved from the moulds much more cleanly; if only re­frig­er­ated, the fill­ing will stick to the sides and the rose shape will be de­stroyed. An hour or so be­fore serv­ing, spread home­made straw­berry jam onto the bases. Re­move from the spring­form tins and place each on a serv­ing dish. Care­fully re­move the cheese­cake fill­ing from the moulds and place onto each base. Al­low to thaw be­fore serv­ing.

Choco­late cherry tarts with wal­nut pas­try

MAKES: 10 READY IN: 90 min­utes Th­ese de­li­cious tarts are the per­fect fes­tive treat. You will need 10 x 8cm tart tins.


Pas­try 1½ cups all-pur­pose flour ¼ cup wal­nuts 1 tbsp gran­u­lated sugar 90g un­salted but­ter, chilled and diced 1 egg yolk 2 tbsp iced wa­ter Fill­ing ¾ cup cream 200g dark choco­late, roughly chopped 3 tbsp cherry liqueur fresh cherries, or berries of your



To make the pas­try Place flour, wal­nuts, sugar and a pinch of salt in a food pro­ces­sor. Whiz un­til wal­nuts are finely chopped. Add diced but­ter and process un­til the mix­ture re­sem­bles bread­crumbs. Add egg yolk and wa­ter and mix un­til a dough forms. Re­move dough from pro­ces­sor, roll into a ball and flat­ten slightly. Wrap in cling­film and re­frig­er­ate for 30 min­utes. Pre­heat oven to 180°C. Roll pas­try out to a thick­ness of 3mm. Cut into cir­cles and line tart­let tins. Re­frig­er­ate for 10 min­utes. Cover each tart­let with bak­ing pa­per, fill with bak­ing beans, and blind bake for 8 min­utes. Re­move pa­per and beans and bake un­til golden. Cool on wire racks. To make the fill­ing Heat cream, but don’t let it bub­ble. Re­move from heat and add choco­late. Leave to stand 2 min­utes while choco­late melts, then mix un­til smooth. Mix in liqueur. Spoon choco­late mix­ture into pas­try cups and place in fridge to set. Serve with cherries or berries.

Pre­serv­ing your sum­mer trea­sures is a great way to use and dis­trib­ute your har­vest. De­hy­drated fruit and early-sea­son jams can be stored or given as gifts.

Black­berry crum­ble slice SERVES: 6 peo­ple TIME: 90 min­utes

If you don’t have black­ber­ries, you can use any berry that’s in sea­son.


2 cups plain flour 1 tsp bak­ing pow­der 1 tsp ground cin­na­mon pinch ground or freshly grated nut­meg ½ cup caster sugar pinch salt 175g un­salted chilled but­ter, cubed 1 egg zest of 1 lemon 4 tsp corn­flour ⅓ cup caster sugar, ex­tra 400g black­ber­ries juice of 1 lemon 1 cup des­ic­cated co­conut ic­ing sugar for dust­ing


Pre­heat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 27.5cm x 18cm (11 x 7 inch) slice tin and line the bot­tom with bak­ing pa­per. Place flour, bak­ing pow­der, cin­na­mon, nut­meg, caster sugar and salt in food pro­ces­sor and process for just a few sec­onds (enough to com­bine). Add but­ter, egg, and lemon zest, and process for 20 sec­onds – the mix­ture should re­sem­ble bread­crumbs. Di­vide the mix­ture in half and press one half into the base of the slice tin us­ing your fingers. Mix the corn­flour and ex­tra caster sugar, then add the black­ber­ries and lemon juice – gen­tly mix so the berries stay whole. Spread the berry mix­ture over the base. Mix the co­conut into the re­main­ing dough mix, then sprin­kle on top of the berries. Bake for 45-55 min­utes, or un­til golden. Dust with ic­ing sugar when cold.

Choco­late straw­berry brandy balls TIME: 20 min­utes IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

200g dark choco­late 25g but­ter, melted 1 egg yolk 2 tbsp brandy 1 cup ic­ing sugar, sifted de­hy­drated straw­ber­ries, crum­bled


Melt choco­late in a dou­ble boiler. Re­move from heat and add melted but­ter, egg yolk and brandy. Mix un­til com­bined, then add ic­ing sugar. Mix to a soft, smooth con­sis­tency. Roll into balls, then roll the balls in the crum­bled, de­hy­drated straw­berry. Keep in fridge un­til serv­ing.

De­hy­drated straw­ber­ries

De­hy­drat­ing is a great way to use up ex­cess fruit. Make sure your fruit is in per­fect con­di­tion to be­gin with. Pli­able fruit is great for snacks and added to ce­real; crisp fruit is de­li­cious crum­bled and sprin­kled over desserts or used as a coat­ing for brandy balls (see above).

HULL the berries and cut into quar­ters, en­sur­ing the pieces are a uni­form size. You can slice your berries if you pre­fer, but slices need to be of even thick­ness. PLACE on de­hy­dra­tor racks, or on bak­ing pa­per-lined trays. CHOOSE the de­hy­dra­tor set­ting for fruit (about 55°C) or a low set­ting in your oven and de­hy­drate for 8-10 hours for slightly pli­able fruit, or 10-14 hours for crisp fruit.

THE dry­ing time will de­pend on the size of your straw­ber­ries. To test the fruit has dried to the con­sis­tency you like, you need to cool them first. Leave to cool for 20-30 min­utes and test. If not quite dry, con­tinue to de­hy­drate, then re-test.

Plum brown­ies SERVES: 6 TIME: 3 hours IN­GRE­DI­ENTS

Base 120g but­ter 185g dark choco­late, chopped 1 cup caster sugar 2 tbsp brandy 2 eggs, lightly beaten 1 cup all-pur­pose flour, sifted ½ cup chopped wal­nuts Plum purée 8-10 large, dark-skinned, fresh plums 3 tbsp sugar Fill­ing 2 eggs (size 6) 1 cup sugar 3 tbsp lime juice ½ cup all-pur­pose flour, sifted ¼ tsp salt 2 cups plum purée


Pre­heat oven to 180°C. Grease a 20cm x 20cm square cake pan, line the base and sides with bak­ing pa­per and grease the pa­per. To make the base, melt but­ter and choco­late in large bowl on medium heat in the mi­crowave. Stir in sugar and brandy, then eggs, flour and wal­nuts. Pour into pan and bake for 30 min­utes, or un­til just cooked. Re­move from oven and let cool. To make the plum purée, re­move stones, chop roughly, leav­ing the skins on, and place in a saucepan with sugar. Cook on low heat un­til sugar has dis­solved, and plums be­come mushy (10-15 min­utes). Re­move from heat and al­low to cool slightly. Pour plums into food pro­ces­sor and purée. Set aside. Make the fill­ing. In a large bowl, add eggs and sugar and beat lightly un­til mixed. Add lime juice and mix with wooden spoon. Add sifted flour and salt and mix. Fold in 2 cups of plum purée with a spat­ula, half a cup at a time. Pour fill­ing on top of base and bake in oven for 30-35 min­utes or un­til set. Re­move from oven and al­low to cool com­pletely be­fore re­mov­ing from pan.

Straw­berry and cham­pagne jam MAKES: 4 x 250ml jars (ap­prox­i­mately) TIME: 2½ – 3 hours

This is a per­fect gift, home­grown straw­berry jam with a slosh of bub­bles.


1kg straw­ber­ries 850g jam set­ting sugar 100ml lemon juice 400ml Cham­pagne knob of but­ter


Wash and hull straw­ber­ries, then place in a large non-re­ac­tive saucepan. Crush fruit with a potato masher. Add jam set­ting sugar, lemon juice and Cham­pagne. Let sit at room tem­per­a­ture for a cou­ple of hours. Mean­while, place a saucer in the freezer. Af­ter a cou­ple of hours, warm the fruit mix­ture over a low heat un­til the sugar dis­solves. Add a knob of but­ter, then turn up the heat. Boil hard for 4 min­utes. Re­move pot from the heat to test for set­ting point. Pull the saucer from the freezer and drop a small tea­spoon of jam onto it. Leave it to cool for a minute, then run a fin­ger through it. If it wrin­kles at the edges and stays in two sep­a­rate sec­tions, it is ready. If not, re­turn to the boil for 2 min­utes, then re-test. When ready, skim any scum from the sur­face, then cool for 10-15 min­utes. Stir, then pour into ster­ilised jars.

The time to dry your straw­ber­ries will de­pend on their size

Home­grown with a slosh of bub­bles

Jane Wrig­glesworth is a gar­den­ing writer, blog­ger, and pub­lisher of the dig­i­tal mag­a­zine, Sweet Liv­ing. www.sweet­liv­ing­magazine.co.nz www.flam­ing­petal.co.nz

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.